When do I get to go back? Past Review

By (Bennington College) - abroad from 01/12/2013 to 04/25/2013 with

Central College Abroad: Granada - University of Granada

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that there is nothing to gain from being timid, that you learn best by pushing yourself into different situations. I gained friends that I want to keep for the rest of my life. Yes, I'd say that this was probably the most worthwhile semester of my life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes themselves we not at all intense, but I think that was done on purpose, keeping in mind that the majority of the learning experience while abroad happens outside of the classroom. All of the excursions and activities done with the Central group were fun and helped me understand Spanish culture as well as if not better than the classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Veronica is an amazing person. Without her, study abroad would still be great, but it would lack the magic that our program had. I will never be able to thank her enough for helping to make my time in Spain truly amazing.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Living in Granada, the things that hurt your budget the most are the fact that there are clothing stores everywhere and that the easiest way to mingle with friends is to go out. However, even going out is relatively cheap compared to the US.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20-30 euros, mostly to go out to eat with friends.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pack carefully and think ahead so that you don't have to buy too many things while abroad.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Speaking in Spanish was difficult while with the group, but Veronica provided us with many opportunities to explore outside of the group. Also, group meetings tended to be conducted in Spanish and our host families only spoke Spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Low advanced/high intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Volunteer. Take University classes. Make friends within the program that are willing to only speak Spanish with you from time to time (maybe at a certain restaurant that you frequent). Go for walks around the city and talk to people on the streets. Sit in the living room with your host family and have conversations. The opportunities are everywhere. The best part is, there's no reason to be scared or nervous because anyone who sees you making a fool of yourself will probably never see you again after a couple of months, unless you form a lasting relationship with them. Either way, you win.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Veronica
  • There are plenty of opportunities to practice Spanish
  • The trips were fun and well-planned.
* What could be improved?
  • More time spent in Madrid
  • More small, optional excursions, like the trip to Ronda and the hiking trips
  • Easier internet access for students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I would wear through my shoes and all of my pairs of jeans from walking so much. And that Veronica enjoys chatting with students - I should have gone to her office more often just to chat and tell her how things were going.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!